06 June 2012

Taking Time to Smell the Roses...and read a book

As I was racing across three towns to get from preschool drop-off to an appointment, my route took me past the Berkeley Rose Garden. It's the tail-end of prime rose season right now, and I decided to follow that age-old directive and slow down, pull over and take the time to smell the roses...



Located in the Berkeley hills with an amazing view of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, this beautiful and peaceful place is a haven for rose-lovers who enjoy wandering the paths of the bloom-filled amphitheater. Young and old delight in the sights and smells. And if you're looking for a beautiful location for a May Bay Area wedding, it's definitely worth checking out.






And when one grows weary of the formality of the garden, there is a large park and playground right across the street. Creeks and narrow paths through the trees, railroad-tie staircases and little stone bridges create a magical place surrounding a wonderful playground...that I used to frequent as a child and is a current favorite of all four of my children :)

The concrete slide on the left has been there since I was little.
We used to go down it on waxed paper so we'd go faster. 
Lots of 'burned' knees and elbows from scraping on the side while whizzing down.
The slide's surface has been roughed up 'for safety' and waxed paper has been banned.
But it still gives a pretty awesome ride!

Walking around in the garden and smelling the roses had a decidedly restorative effect. That adage exists for a reason.

In other news, I just finished reading my second book in one month. Given that I hadn't read a whole grown-up book since the spring of 2009, this is kind of a big deal. Both were entirely engrossing and kept me up past my bedtime on several occasions. 




I think that's part of why I don't read books much. 

I get waayyyyy into them. I don't like to be bothered while I'm reading (hard to engineer when you have 4 kids). I don't like to have to put the book down before a point of resolution (hard to guarantee with 4 quarreling kids requiring constant interventions). I don't like to read books that fail to draw me in. And I also don't like finishing books...because then they are over...and the story is completed...and you don't get to keep reading it :(  I am sad that I have finished the book...almost to the point of being bereft. I have another waiting in the wings...but I am afraid to start it. Because once I start it, I will read it all the way through and then it will be over...the mere prospect of which bums me out all over again.

I have a problem.

I'd better go smell those roses some more.

26 comments:

  1. Sometimes you need a break between books (and I'm a librarian!)--you just need to let the good ones sink in....Sort of like you wouldn't just go buy another pet after a beloved one dies.....

    I need to read Wicked. It's been on my list for ages.....

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  2. I struggled through Wicked. But I do Have a problem putting down a good book. In my younger days I was known to stay up all night to finish. It's kind of like mourning when a good book ends.

    Gorgeous roses!

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  3. Love that park. I have many memories of similar injuries from that very slide, as well as scouting the trash bins for usable cardboard to slide on. I grew up on Hilldale for the first few years of life, and my extended family still lives in that neighborhood.

    Thanks for the throwback. It was needed today!

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  4. I can't read more than 1 book/month because I neglect everything around me when I do - including my family :).

    Love the rose garden...I so wish those things would grow here in Colorado!

    Sorry I missed ya yesterday.

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  5. Those roses are beautiful! I really liked Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth. That one was good too! I can't imagine trying to fit in reading with four kids. I barely make time for it some days without ANY kids! Great job!

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  6. That slide looks soooo cool :) I'm glad there's something from your childhood that you can share with your kids like that.

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  7. I thouroughly enjoy reading for the reasons you just stated, I obviously have a problem! Although, I'm pretty good at stopping and starting, I just carry the book everywhere with me and stop to intervene in the chaos and then resume my reading. That garden looks amazing and the slide looks like the best time ever!

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  8. Gorgeous run, I'm jealous.
    I know how you feel when you finish a good book. Somehow it taints the next one - it's just not as good. Doesn't stop me from going through a few a week though!

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  9. I need time between books, to digest the story, when it's a series of several books I cannot stop before the last one.
    Since I'm reading (grown up books) in English, not that long ago!!...I found my perfect balance, one book in English, one book in french. :)

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  10. What is World Without End about? Do you recommend?

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  11. I live down the street from the Oakland Rose Garden, also a treasure. I am often there with both kids: my 6-month old in a carrier and my 3.5-year old on her scooter. She runs circles through the maze-like paths, and I have time to smell the roses... As for books, I wish I had your problem. I love reading, but find it hard to complete books, as I tend to read in the evening before bed, and I pass out before I can make significant progress!

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  12. That is one beautiful garden...and what an amazing playground. My kids would be all over that tree!!

    I am a big reader in the summer when I actually have "time" for it...however, like you I get so totally engrossed in it that I feel as if I am ignoring my family. I ends up taking me forever to actually "finish" the book ;)

    I've seen Wicked on Broadway. Never thought about reading it though...Sometimes I don't think about reading books like that. Perhaps I'll give it a whirl...

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  13. Beautiful park, and that slide is awesome!
    Ihate finishing books too...when a book draws you in...it's hard to let go of the story :(

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  14. We have a rose garden or two in "The City Or Roses". As you know.

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  15. Beautiful pictures and that tree is amazing! Glad you stopped to smell the roses:)

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  16. That's so not cool about the slide! Bring back the waxed paper!

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  17. I can not help but laugh at your twisted cycle of loving/hating reading :) I definitely know the feeling of not wanting a book to be finished (Hunger Games for me), but isn't that part of the joy of reading itself? Devouring it until it is done, then starting all over again?

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  18. "waxed paper has been banned" --there's something you don't read every day! :) I'm the exact same way with books. It's a love/hate relationship. My hubby laughs because I won't sleep, and nothing will get done when I have a book....laundry? What is that?? :)

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  19. The family knows it's a great book when I am reading it at the kitchen counter while making dinner (or, ahem, there is no dinner started)

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  20. Yes, I read World Without End as well, I loved it! Ken Follet has another big ass one that you might like, but of course I couldn't tell you the title if you paid me because I forget...As for the roses, well, I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Sorry, I have no idea why Tammy Wynett suddenly popped into my head...

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  21. How beautiful! I have Wicked but haven't read it yet.

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  22. I just love you XL- you are so flippin' funny and INTERESTING. But wrong.

    I have a honker and I WONT HIDE IT! Im out and proud (<; Supreme Schnozz'z of the world unite!

    Seriously though- I love reading your stuff.Those picts are gorgous. Total fairy land. Sometimes its so easy to not see the beauty right in front of you. I live on the beach and I can downright ignore it until someone reminds me. And then my breath is totally taken from me.

    I hava a kindle and have started 5 books. Finished 0. Just bought an audio book- hope that upps my literacy level.

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  23. Glad you took some time for yourself. The roses look wonderful. Everyone needs a bit of peace in their day.

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  24. 1) I NEED to go down that slide! 2) I am the EXACT same way about books, I have so many I want to read but I seriously need two free days to get completely engrossed in each one and finish it from start to finish. And if it is a series, forget it, I will wait until all the books come out and read them from start to finish b/c I don't like the suspense of having to wait years to find out what happens next! :) I have tried to read Wicked before, it was a few years ago and it was hard for me to get through the first couple chapters, it is still on my list of to-reads, it is my favorite musical, I feel like I would really love the story, though I know the musical was only inspired by the books, it won't be a 100% carbon copy. And there are multiple books in the series, so it's my style. What did you think of the book?

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  25. Went there once - fun place!

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  26. How cool is that slide??? I think with all your kids, you would need rose sniffing on a daily basis. :-) I find being outside with greenery to be some of the best medicine. The other day I ate grilled cheese and tomato soup on a park bench at Bryant Park and when I left, I felt like I'd just had a massage. :-)

    Also, I never knew you didn't read a ton. I don't. At all. But I took you for a book before bed every night of your life kind of girl. :-)

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